Airbus is preparing to celebrate celebrate 30 years of the Airbus A320. They recently posted photos of the original A320 painted in the original (very 80s) delivery paint scheme. The original aircraft known as MSN 001 will be delivered to Aeroscopia museum in Toulouse, France for display.
— Airbus (@Airbus) September 7, 2017
The Airbus A320 isn’t the world’s sexiest aircraft but it has secured its place in aviation history. With over 7,000 A320s in service, the family of jets is an important part of most major airline fleets. The jet has evolved as the industry has evolved. The Airbus A320 was designed to compete against the Boeing 737. The A320 had a wider cabin, more efficient engines, longer range, and fly-by-wire flight controls. It gained traction with a few US airlines like Northwest and America West. Boeing countered with the 737 Next Generation featuring a more efficient wing and engines. Airbus continued to gain market share with aggressive pricing and a series of upgrades. They also expanded the fleet offering to include the smaller A318 and A319 and larger A321 that competed against the 757.
In 2010, Airbus announced the A320NEO series that offered more efficient turbofan engines. By beating Boeing’s MAX offering to the market, they now outsell the legendary Boeing 737 by a 6 to 5 margin.